The death of the guard of the Al-Hamra Theater in the Syrian capital, Damascus, the Egyptian Uncle Metwally, caused a wave of grief and loss in the Syrian artistic and cultural community.
Uncle Metwally, who came to Syria since the days of “unity” with Egypt, and settled there, has become a very well-known figure in the Syrian theater and cultural scene.
Uncle Metwally did not leave Damascus despite the years of war and the loss of his home, but only a few days ago he was overcome by nostalgia for his hometown in Egypt, and he traveled to it longing to return after Eid al-Adha, to be severely ill and to die there, leaving his wife, and his only son Anas, and a void that will be felt by all Who would go to a theater show without seeing the face that used to greet them with laughter and quick wit?
For many years, Uncle Metwally stood at the door of the theater guarding it, distributing theatrical cards and helping theater-goers to enter and exit, in addition to his presence in most of the cultural events and events that were held in the governorates when the theatrical season stopped.
Many theater workers mourned Uncle Metwally, and the lighting designer and head of the technology department at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts, Adham Safar, wrote: “They constituted an open vacation, not like what you told me, my friend. May God have mercy on you, soul of the Hamra theater.” Actress Loris Kazak wrote: “Uncle Metwally.. your laughter, I will keep hearing it at the Hamra theater.. may your soul rest in peace.”
While theatrical director Orwa Al-Arabi expressed his sadness by saying: My friend and my lover.. the smell of Al-Hamra theater.. loyal to Damascus.. how much your departure hurt me, Mitwali..for your soul, mercy and peace, good Egyptian.
Imad Jalloul, director of the Directorate of Theaters and Music in the Ministry of Culture, told Al-Khabar TV: “Muhammad Metwally is an employee of the Ministry of Culture, and after a long time because of the war, he lost his home, but his love for Syria and Damascus kept him there.”
The theater became the seat of Uncle Metwally’s life after he lost his home. His work was not limited to being a guard, but he was helping the directors during rehearsals, providing assistance to his fellow lighting and sound technicians step by step, and was honest on the stage.
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